Right at the heart of central Philippines, visitors can find a captivating city. It is as urbanized as Manila – complete with the vast malls, skyscrapers and noisy streets—but this city stands out because of its heritage. This urban area, Cebu City Philippines, is truly worth visiting because it provides great insights on the roots of the Philippines as a predominantly Roman Catholic nation, which shaped a lot of aspects in the nation’s culture.
Your Guide to Cebu City in the Philippines
Cebu City has been called the “Queen City of the South”. This city offers all the conveniences of a highly urbanized area, but also preserves the country’s important cultural sites. Cebu City is also a gastronomic paradise, with delicious and affordable food items you can readily buy on the streets. There’s really so much to see, do and eat in this soulful city. Here are some basic pieces of information you can use if you are planning to visit Cebu City.
What to See in Cebu City
• Magellan’s Cross – This is an important landmark at the center of Cebu City, marking the beginnings of the Philippines as a Roman Catholic nation. It is a wooden cross planted by Spanish and Portuguese explorers led by the Ferdinand Magellan who arrived in the Philippines during the 14th century and introduced the religion. The cross is now enclosed in a beautiful gazeebo, with a painting depicting the arrival of the colonizers on its ceiling.
• Basilica Minore del Santo Nino – Right beside Magellan’s cross is this landmark, which is considered to among the most significant churches in the Philippines. It houses the centuries-old image of the Child Jesus, revered for introducing Catholicism in this deeply devout nation. The church was slightly destroyed by an earthquake a few years ago, but it remains to be architecturally impressive from the inside and out.
• Fort San Pedro – This military defense structure built during the Spanish colonial era showcases old walls that have stood the test of time. Inside these walls, a museum can be found showcasing well-preserved Spanish documents, paintings and sculptures. This place is an ideal destination for a lazy afternoon stroll, and a favorite for locals who just want to sit down and watch the beauty of the nearby sea.
• Taoist Temple – Although Cebu City is known to be the birth place of Christianity in the Philippines, it is also conducive to other religions. This Taoist temple, for instance, is located at the outskirts of the city, and is a good place for meditation. The design and architecture of the temple is also a sight to behold.
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What to Do in Cebu City
• Join the Sinulog Festival – If you want to see the vibrancy of the city, the best time to go is during the third Sunday of January, when the Sinulog Festival is held. To honor the image of the Child Jesus that introduced Roman Catholicism in the Philippines, locals dance on the streets in colorful garb and hold various cultural presentations. At night, the younger ones come out and drink during street parties. It is really a must-visit event at Cebu City.
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• Conquer your fear of heights – At the Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu City, you can experience some adrenaline rush with its unique ride called the Edge Coaster. This ride goes around the edge of the hotel building’s 38th floor, and tilts up to 55 degrees, which can be terrifying for those with fear of heights. Don’t worry: riders are locked onto a rail seat, and the ride is absolutely safe.
• Feel the urban spirit – Being a major urban destination in the Philippines, Cebu City has the conveniences that a metropolis offers. It has big malls where you can shop until you drop. There are also coffee shops, bars and restaurants you can explore, particularly along General Mexilom Avenue or the picturesque Fuenta Rotunda.
What to Eat in Cebu City
• Suckling Pig – You can’t leave Cebu City without tasting its version of lechon, or roasted suckling pig, which is said to be the best in the Philippines. The pig skin is crispy, and the meat is tasty because of various spices, including lemon grass.
• `Sutukil’ – This is an acronym for local words ‘sugba’ which means grilled, ‘tula’ or soup-based, and ‘kilaw’ for raw. Order some fresh seafood from restaurants and they will showcase how to prepare these in three delicious ways.
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